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Supporting those who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States and their families. VetConnection is a West Virginia based, non-profit group whose primary mission is to ensure that returning veterans and their families are treated with respect and assisted in building a new life in our community. Our goal is to connect returning veterans and/or their families with the appropriate resources that are needed to provide continuing healthcare, education and employment opportunities.

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QR Codes

Helping Veterans Stand Out in the Hiring Process By: Laura Marriott, CEO of NeoMedia Technologies


he oil and natural gas industry is expanding exponentially with an increase in regional development, production and distribution of new energy sources. To fill an increasing demand for workers, efforts are underway to grow the oil and gas workforce by hiring veterans. Unfortunately, typical hiring practices leave many qualified candidate resumes in the HR office wastebasket. By incorporating technology into one’s job search, a candidate stands a much better chance of being seen. With Quick Response (QR) codes, veterans have an opportunity to leverage new media and mobile to stand out from their competition. QR codes enable a host of practical and useful applications. For instance, linking the QR code on the resume to a candidate video, mobile website or social media website (like LinkedIn) provide a simple and interesting way for recruiters to learn more about a candidate prior to an interview, saving the recruiter time and helping them hone in on most qualified candidates.

What is a QR code?

How do I create a QR code?

Most of us have seen a QR code on the back of our favorite product or within the pages of our favorite magazine. It’s the black and white square box that, when scanned with a barcode reader app (available for free from your phone’s app store), allow the user to access a range of content direct from their phone.

Mobile technology is opening doors across many industries and job seekers today. Before veterans get started, they should consider what content (video? mobile website? blog? etc.) they would like to deliver to a prospective employer. Then, find a reputable QR code creator, like NeoSphere™ Lite, which will allow you to create a code for free. Make sure to test the code to see that it brings a recruiter to the content that you intend them to see – and is in the right format (meaning optimized for the mobile device). Finally, make sure the QR code easily visible on the resume and include a call to action. For instance, “Scan the code to view my video resume.”

Why use a QR code? Given the small amount of real estate on a resume and its ability to deliver a variety of content, QR codes have become a great way for job candidates to stand out from the crowd. For example, instead of including a DVD or cluttering a resume with additional information, a veteran can simply create a QR code and direct the hiring manager to scan the code and access the video from their mobile device. You can find a great example of how this can be done here. QR codes provide a simple way to communicate your message in a compelling manner.

When veterans get creative in their use of QR codes, they will undoubtedly rise above their competition – achieving their desire for interviews and hopefully soon, a new role won’t be far behind. Get started today!

Corporate Info: NeoMedia Technologies, Inc. is the pioneer in 2D mobile barcode technology and infrastructure solutions that enable the mobile barcode ecosystem worldwide. Its solutions have transformed nearly 25 million mobile devices with cameras across 193 countries into barcode scanners, enabling a range of practical and engaging applications. With its suite of products, services and extensive IP portfolio, NeoMedia is able to offer customers a comprehensive end-to-end mobile barcode solution. NeoMedia’s current customers include international brands, agencies, handset manufacturers and platform providers. Learn more at or visit us at one of the following online destinations:

Science & Technology Science & Technology

Veterans Opportunity | 5



The driving force behind employment and business opportunities for Vets within the Oil & Gas Industry

How the Unconventional Aspects of Oil and Gas Industry Are Driving Job Opportunities for Veterans


n 1866, a Civil War veteran named Edward Roberts was awarded a patent for what came to be known as the Roberts Torpedo, which used fluid tamping to extract oil from the ground. It was a new technology that would end up transforming the newly developed gas and oil industry. New technologies continue to revolutionize the gas and oil industry, allowing for the extraction of unconventional energy sources that have become a driving job opportunity source for veterans. “In recent years, technologies have been developed that allow us to produce oil and gas from the shale formations that before had not been commercially viable,” explained David Drennon with HG Energy. “But today, because of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, it has become economical.” It should be noted that hydraulic fracturing is not a brand new technology. According to the American Oil and Gas Historical Society, the first commercial application of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking -- came in 1949. “Today, hydraulic fracturing is applied to the majority of U.S. oil and natural gas wells to enhance well performance, minimize drilling, and recover otherwise inaccessible resources. In fact, roughly 90 percent of the wells in operation have been fractured — and the process continues to be applied in innovative ways to boost production of American energy in unconventional formations, such as ‘tight’ gas sands, shale deposits and coalbeds,” the Historical Society reported in an article titled “Shooters – A Fracking History.” Even though it had been around for more than half a century, unconventional energy sources has boomed in recent years, largely thanks to horizontal drilling. For the first 150 years of the industry, the only way gas and oil could be extracted was via vertical drilling. “But in recent years, technology has been developed that allows drillers to actually make a turn with the drill bit, and they can go out and drill horizontally through the formation,” said Drennon. This means drillers can access a larger area of the reservoir. The horizontal drilling is partnered with the hydraulic fracturing. “In today’s horizontal wells, we use large volumes of water and are able to better produce the well and recover greater amounts of the hydrocarbons,” Drennon went on to say. The development of the these technologies has done more than simply allow oil and gas companies to expand into the extraction

6 | Veterans Opportunity

of these unconventional sources. It means that the oil and gas industry can expand into areas of the country where drilling was never before an option. For example, while western Pennsylvania is home to the first oil well in the United States and the oil and gas industry thrived in the Alleghenies, northeast Pennsylvania had no history of oil or gas exploration. Horizontal drilling changed that. “Geologists knew the Marcellus Shale formation was there,” said Drennan, “but in the past, it has never been economical to go and drill there.” While the drilling for shale gas and other unconventional energy sources has provided an economic boost to northeast Pennsylvania and other areas throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, like any industry, there are peaks and valleys in production. The unusually warm winter of 2011-2012 reduced the demand for natural gas, supplies got too high and prices dropped. In some situations, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the drilling boom produced too many wells than the market needed. Some operators have turned off their wells because they don’t want to sell the natural gas at low prices. This summer and fall, the industry has faced another challenge, courtesy of Mother Nature. The drought that has impacted much of the country is now affecting the energy industry. Each shale well takes between two and 12 million gallons of water to frack. That’s 18 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water per well, according to CNN Money. As landowners, communities, and state governments put restrictions on water use and water access, well production has slowed. It has slowed, but it hasn’t stopped. Wells are still being built, and extracting these unconventional energy sources requires a large work force. According to Drennan, it takes about 400 people to drill and complete a well, and that requires expertise in a number of different trades and professions. Sites need truck drivers, mechanics, and welders, as well as geologists, accountants, and lawyers. As it was a veteran whose invention revolutionized the way oil was extracted 150 years ago, it seems fitting that the exploration for unconventional energy sources would be a natural fit for today’s veterans. The skill set that veterans bring from their years in the military is ideal for the oil and gas industry, especially in these new areas of extraction. “People who come out of the military are well trained in areas of technology, instrumentation, automation, and those things lend

Emerging Energy Emerging Energy


Industry Exectutive Profile


avid Drennon is currently employed by HG Energy, LLC as the company’s Marketing and Transportation Manager, overseeing all of the company’s natural gas sales, transportation and purchase contracts. HG Energy is a relatively new company, being formed at the beginning of 2011 and it has its roots in the West Virginia assets that formerly belonged to East Resources, Inc. (HG Energy is currently actively drilling in the Utica shale on acreage it controls in Monroe County). Before HG Energy, Dave spent the previous ten years with East Resources as their General Manager of its WV pipeline & utility operations. Prior to that, he spent twenty years with Pennzoil Exploration & Production Company, also in West Virginia. Dave is finishing his third year as a Director of the Independent Oil & Gas Association of West Virginia and is the current Chair of their Communication and Education Committee. Over the years Mr. Drennon has assumed leadership positiones in numerous Oil and Gas related organizations and initiatives that forward safe development of West Virginia’s energy resources on behalf of Miss Utility of West Virginia, the state’s

themselves well to the oil and gas industry,” said Drennan. The spirit of teamwork and the ability to adapt to sometimes adverse working conditions are other skills veterans offer. “People in the military understand the necessity of doing one’s part to get the mission accomplished, and that’s exactly what we do in the gas and oil industry.” Within the industry itself, there is always a huge need for truck drivers, welders, and general laborers. But the job opportunities aren’t confined specifically within the areas of building new wells. An entire infrastructure of industries has popped up surrounding the gas and oil industry’s exploration for new


underground facilities protection organization, the Independent Oil and Gas Association (IOGA of West Virginia and Just Beneath the Surface - just to name a few. A 1980 graduate of Glenville State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics.

energy sources – starting with the actual infrastructure, like road and bridge construction. Since wells are often built in rural areas, small towns are ideal locations for new restaurants. The employees working on the wells need a place to live, and with it is a boom in manufacturing of mobile homes and RVs for inexpensive and portable housing options. The race to replace traditional fossil fuels, along with the new drilling technologies, has opened up a myriad of opportunities for veterans surrounding this search for unconventional energy search.

Emerging Energy Emerging Energy

Veterans Opportunity | 7

Entrepreneurs Discuss


Stanley Richardson

Veterans Opportunity Magazine

Debora Chiz

President/Owner: Nova Safety & Health Consulting, Inc.

Greg Henthorn

Managing Partner: Kinetic Clean Energy, Inc.

Travis Buggey

Partner: Kinetic Clean Energy, Inc.

Main Points: How to Succeed Play to Your Skills Industry Training a Plus Identify an Industry Need Finding the Right Opportunity Get out & Network Meet Industry Professionals Don’t be Intimidated You Can Make it if You Try

Business Enterprise

8 | Veterans Opportunity

Business Enterprise Roundtable

Debora Chiz: I worked for OSHA for twenty years and I’m a mining engineer. And, I did safety & health. And, being that the need for the safety and health end of it. I opened up my own business and I go out and do safety and health audits. I do a lot of training, I do the safety on WVU Oil and Gas, the OSHA ten hour forklift Hazwoper. I do any kind of training that they need in the oil and gas industry. Stan Richardson: Yes, well you have to… So you play to your skills?.... Which, is what we are advocating for veteran women. Debora Chiz: Well, there is another point to look at, women, men and I kind of don’t like separating the two, because I’ve always been you know you get jobs in what you can to do. Um there are veterans that are coming out that maybe are not able to do the physical work. And you said exactly, ( it could apply to them as well) it could apply to somebody that doesn’t have all there;… something has happened to them. We actually know a GIS tech at an oil gas company up in New York who is in a wheelchair, and she is one of their best. She’s a geologist, and she’s one of their best employees. And, she does an awesome job, and I know we are going to get veterans that are, that have disabilities after coming out. And, they are going to need to be able to do something like that. So some training, some technical training, and what Greg just mentioned would be something very good for them to pursue something like that. Stan Richardson: So, what are some of the first things, what’s one of the first things that you did when you decided to start your company? Did you look at the demand? Is that one of the first things that you did?

for something outside of the industry, the labor part of the industry, but may not be thinking about some of those things that you raised? How could they or what should they do to kinda match their experience with the possibilities even though it might not be as obvious?

Greg Henthorn: Yeah, that’s a very good question, I think what I would do if I were in that position, is I would look at; I would try to identify what are these types of jobs that are created from shale gas. And, just looking at it from that picture, you have the extraction piece that we’ve been talking about, which for the most part it has a lot, it is very labor intensive. Although, there are components of extraction that are not labor intensive, as we’ve discussed, acquiring the leases and the title abstracts. And then you have the whole pipeline pieces of securing rights of way so that someone can build gathering lines and pipelines and all those sort of, I would try to identify all those different types of opportunities. And maybe that’s something the Veterans Opportunity Network can help to provide as a resource as well, and you have those opportunities and then do some research around what each one of those are, to understand. Are there physical requirements, are there training requirements, do I need a college degree, do I need certification, do I just need to get good at this particular skill? What are the things that it requires? And, then I would probably try to talk to somebody that does that kind of work. If I could just try to find somebody that does that kind of work and ask them how they got started and how they got going. I will say something about oil and gas that is maybe compared to manufacturing or other things; in that oil and gas has a lot of companies that could…, there are a lot of contractors that do different roles. And a lot of things are subbed out to entrepreneurs, and small businesses. And so, if you spend some time talking to people in the industry, I think that maybe you can find those things where you have the skills sets that map well with what some of the needs are, ( the demand) exactly.

Debora Chiz: Yeah, Yeah, I looked out and um, what companies were requiring, cause a lot of their own gas companies, a lot of the producers they’re requiring the training, because they’re using all the subs, so they’re trying to keep their training above and beyond, they’re trying to keep it up to par, so that we do not have any accidents out in the industry. Stan Richardson: Okay, And when it comes to advice that you would offer, Greg, what about playing to someone’s strength? What, how do you address that? How would you advise someone in the military, a woman in the military who is looking

Stan Richardson: And did you for example, did you go about networking within the industry? How did you go about doing that? Debora Chiz: I spend a very large amount of time going to functions, PIOGA functions out of New York, um setting up tables, booths, talking to people, and now that the oil and gas industry is really taking off, you could probably go to something every week, right? You could. There’s functions all the time, you could possibly go to every function there is. And, its amazing every function I go to, you find somebody

Enterprise Roundtable Business Enterprise Roundtable

Veterans Opportunity | 9

that has something or gives you an idea, (right) or you gain some kind of insight ( right), into what is needed or what you could do. So networking things, for example like this, is very valuable to learn what’s out there. Greg Henthorn: And I’ll tell you what, in networking, I would not hide the fact, if I were a veteran. I would not keep that a secret ( No); I think that’s a good thing. I think just in general, culturally, within the oil and gas sector, that’s, that’s gonna be looked upon favorably for all the right reasons. I think generally a lot of people in the oil and gas sector; view themselves, just in general, maybe slightly compared to the average population. They, they view themselves as doing something important to the country, I mean you know energy independence, and all these kinds of things, it just seems to be a theme that runs throughout the sector. So, you know I don’t, I wouldn’t be a– hesitate at all to share that with others. Debora Chiz: Right, I think veterans are more, they’re more disciplined, and I think they are not afraid of hard work, and I think that they would be very, very good candidates for work in the oil and gas industry. Greg Henthorn:

even though my husband is in the…, a petroleum engineer in the industry, it’s very hard and it’s very intimidating. When you walk into a big show or you walk into a meeting and there’s all these guys maybe in suits or big and you don’t know who they are, so it’s an intimidation factor. And, if you get a women, you get a veteran, you get someone that really doesn’t feel comfortable….., um what I started doing was just walking up to people and saying “hello my name is Debbie, how are you?” and, shaking their hand. And, you get a lot of response its amazing. But, it’s tough to do that, it’s tough to get to that point. So, if you start getting out there and what do companies want? They want people out there that are forward that are going to try work. Greg Henthorn: No, but that whole dynamic, ( that’s exactly right) I mean it applied to me to ( absolutely) it is not unique to women you know, I was just every bit as intimidated ( that’s right) as you described when I first started reaching out. Stan Richardson: So it really does matter to loose your inhibitions ( that’s right speak up) and to get out there ( speak up) and because if you don’t ask, and you don’t put yourself out there your not going to get any results. Well, I think we’d all agree on that one. ( Yeah)

Yeah, and frankly when I talk to people in the oil and gas sector they talk in general that the younger people today just aren’t as hard workers, in general just across the board. ( That’s right) So that probably… ( A lot of veterans that I talk to they’re very respectful, they’re very hard workers) (Yeah, yeah) ( Absolutely) Travis Buggey: It’s critical for veterans to get out and network and get out to these events, ( absolutely, absolutely) because you don’t know who you’re going to run into. You may, it may take two or three meeting for you to kinda get your, your ( bearings, yeah) bearings and figure out exactly what your role might be. You need to get out and get the word out and meet people and get involved. And, you’d be surprised at just by going to two or three events in a row; you’ll kinda start to piece things together and to learn about the industry. It’s critical that you get out. And, 90% percent of life is showing up. So, you just need to get out and get involved with things, things won’t come to you. You have to go get things. Debora Chiz: And that’s a very, very good point. Because when I started my business, being a “women” in the oil and gas industry,

Business Enterprise

10 | Veterans Opportunity

Business Enterprise Roundtable

For Small Business Owners:

Four Things to Know Before Applying for a Loan W

e have all heard the phrase “Cash is King,” and small business owners know that better than anyone. At some point or another, many small business owners need to apply for financing to keep the cash flowing, hire new employees, expand inventory, and grow the business. Below are four key things you should know before applying for a loan.



Prepare, Prepare, Prepare! Know How Much You Want to Borrow Preparation is key when This may seem obvious, but applying for a loan, and you would be surprised to organized preparation is learn that many small business even better. This means that owners haven’t figured out how your business plan should much money they really need be updated, your financial statements should be in order, to borrow. It is very important and you should be able to verify to know exactly how much all of the information that you you need, what it will be used give to your lender. Remember for, and how you plan to pay it back. No lender wants to that box of saved business hear “I’ll take as much as receipts? A lender will expect this information to be organized you can give me.” Your loan in a spreadsheet or software, like request should make sense QuickBooks, to help you better based on your business history, manage your business finances. projections, your specific needs, This preparation will go a long and the amount of personal investment you have in the way toward showing that you can manage the lender’s money business. well, too.



Know the Process Every lending institution has a process for making loans and asking questions up front sets reasonable expectations and shows your lender that you care. You should have a good understanding of the documents you need to submit, the expected timeline, and the different levels of approval. Also, don’t be surprised if your lender has additional questions for you after you submit your complete application. This is typically part of the process, and while it does not guarantee a loan approval, it does keep the process moving.

Remember – Less Isn’t More When Applying for a Loan Less isn’t more – more is more. When it comes to getting a loan, the more information you provide about your business, the better. Your lender will need the full story and as much background as possible to make a good decision. Remember that your lender is on your side and wants to give you a loan if possible. But checks and balances are important for everyone. Providing your lender with more information will result in a faster decisionmaking process for both of you.

Bridgeway Capital, located in Pittsburgh, Pa., provides financing and education opportunities to ignite growth across western Pennsylvania. A nonprofit founded in 1990, Bridgeway Capital serves 15 counties and manages $54 million. Since inception it has placed more than 760 loans, injecting $84 million in capital directly into the region, and creating or preserving over 5,000 jobs. With a blend of entrepreneurial vision, regional knowledge and operational expertise, Bridgeway Capital helps make western Pennsylvania a thriving region for all. For more information, call 412-201-2450 or visit our website at

Enterprise Roundtable Business Enterprise Roundtable

Veterans Opportunity | 11

Give Your Career a Push!

Build your career at Cleveland Brothers Equipment Co.

Cleveland Brothers is currently looking for experienced people to fill Technician positions at all our locations. Individuals that are ready to take their career to the next level. It’s your opportunity to service Caterpillar® equipment using cutting-edge diagnostic and maintenance systems, advanced technologies and high-tech tools. Benefits:  ‡([FHOOHQW3D\  ‡.3ODQ  ‡*URXS+HDOWK,QVXUDQFH  ‡9DFDWLRQDQG+ROLGD\V  ‡/LIHDQG'LVDELOLW\,QVXUDQFH If you have the customer service focus, work ethic, and skills, it’s time you think about your future. Contact Cleveland Brothers today to start your future!



“Short quote from a technician, coming. Short quote from a technician, coming.”

Where the Entry Level Jobs for Veterans Are in the

Oil and Gas Industry


hile the rate of unemployment for veterans, age 18 and older is down from 8.1 percent in 2011 to 6.7 percent in 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 735,000 veterans looking for work. In July 2012 the unemployment rate for veterans fell to 6.9 percent, the lowest level in more than three years. This may reflect the impact of federal and state government programs that help returning vets, including assistance with transitioning into jobs. In 2011, 21.6 million men and women ages 18 and over were veterans. Veterans are more likely to be men and more likely to be older than nonveterans. Returning veterans who struggle to find jobs in a tight economy face multiple challenges says Frank Vitale, co-founder of VetConnection.Org, a veteran and the Sr. Vice President of Clear Mountain Bank in Morgantown W.Va. “A job gives you a sense of empowerment, a sense of accomplishment and purpose. When you don’t have those things you begin to get introspective and begin to think why don’t I have a job and why aren’t things going right for me? I’ve sacrificed so much for my country.” The faster these returning veterans are able to get into the workforce, the more productive and successful they will be, and the more readily they will assimilate back into civilian life, says Vitale. Those who don’t quickly find jobs, he says: “May turn to drugs and alcohol to satisfy some pains and also may struggle to have a place to live.” While services are available to help veterans through resources like the Veterans Administration (VA), Vitale says that many veterans over the last 10 years are unlikely to engage the VA. Why? There are a lot of reasons, he says, but “chief among them is that when a vet separates they want to be separated—they want to be done with the military.” According to a 2011 poll by, common challenges that veterans face in returning to the workforce include: • Finding a job that matches what they want in terms of salary, location, etc. • Finding opportunities for which they are qualified • Having employers understand their skills and experience • Applying military skills in nonmilitary settings The good news? The oil and gas industry represents a rich source of entry level jobs for veterans—from drilling jobs, to jobs in surveying, procurement, scheduling and various trades. The jobs site recently listed almost 12,000 oil and gas jobs, about 1100 in North America. Danielle Boston is a (title) with (company) and says: “This is really an exciting time for our industry.” In speaking about the Marcellus Shale Coalition—which is producing natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays in Pennsylvania, she says: “When one considers the wide range of options being explored

in renewal or alternative energy sources – such as solar, wind or hydro power – for this region of the country a viable natural gas industry can be a major contributor to the economy.” There are a wide array of jobs available, she notes, adding that not all jobs are directly in oil and gas—some represent companies that serve the oil and gas operators. Boston’s firm has identified what they are calling “six high priority occupations.” These include derrick operators, rotary drill operators, service unit operators, roustabouts, welding and braising operators and truck drivers. “CDL licensed truck drivers are in very high demand right now,” she says. About 70-75 percent of these jobs are blue collar she says—jobs that don’t require a two or four-year degree. One potential drawback is that, for most people, most of these jobs will require a relocation or time away from home. “This industry is a very mobile industry,” says Boston. “It’s also a 24/7 type operation. Typically they are going to be working longer hours—a lot of 12 hour shifts, and two weeks on with one or two weeks off.” The work environment can also be demanding and much of it outdoors, which can be great on warm, sunny days, but not so great on cold, rainy or snowy days. But, she adds: “This can be a good fit for veterans because they’re no strangers to long hours, hard work and working in these conditions.” The pay is good—starting salaries range from $13-19/hour and, in certain areas of the country (like Pennsylvania) opportunities are plentiful. “We’re thinking that within Pennsylvania we’ve impacted about 90,000 jobs in 2010 and, by 2020, we perceive that this industry will grow and probably impact more than 200,000 jobs,” says Boston.

Top Natural Gas Producers—2012

• • • • •

ExxonMobil Chesapeake Energy Anadarko Devon Energy BP

• • • • •

Encana ConocoPhillips Southwestern Energy Co. BHP Billiton Chevron

Hydraulic Fracturing—“Fracking” —Rocks the Gas Industry Hydraulic fracturing—or “fracking”—is a technique used to free natural gas found in shale rock formations through a mix of water and sand injected into the rock at very high pressures. The injection creates fractures in the rock and allows natural gas to flow. It’s big business—since 2007 more than 4500 wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania ( blogs/cepr-blog/fracking-nonsense-the-job-myth-of-gas-drilling).

Human Resources Employment & Human Resources

by Lin Grensing-Pophal

Veterans Opportunity | 13

To make fracking possible, sand is required and sand mining has increased significantly around the country. The rapid increase in the use of this technique is opening up significant job opportunities at an entry level. A study commissioned by the Marcellus Shale Coalition and researchers with Penn State University estimated that gas drilling would support 216,000 jobs in Pennsylvania alone by 2015.

The site outlines different types of companies that employ people offshore:

Careers in the Oil and Gas Industry

• • • •

• Operating companies: hold the exploration and production licenses and operate the production facilities. Most of them are international companies, working in many different parts of the world. • Drilling companies: contracted to undertake the drilling work, and often operate and maintain their own mobile drilling rigs. Like the operating companies, they tend to work globally. • Major contractors: provide integrated operations and maintenance services to the operating companies. On some installations they employ almost all the regular offshore personnel (the ‘”core crew”). Some are very large international companies, while others are small by comparison.

Searching for oil and gas • Production • General operations Exploration • Business support Drilling Well services

According to, a UK-based site, there are both onshore and offshore installations. Onshore installations are on land and usually close to the sea. They receive oil and gas from offshore installations via pipeline or tanker. These installations may prepare liquid gas products for further refining, but they are not the refineries. They also may take the natural gas and make it suitable for piping into the National Grid. At some installations gas liquids are processed.

• FPSO operators: operate and maintain floating production storage and offloading units that are designed to remain on station for months or even years on end, and are packed with equipment for processing oil and gas. • Service companies provide specialist assistance to both operating and drilling companies, e.g. well service firms, drilling mud suppliers, cementing companies, well testing specialists, seismic firms, divers, caterers, etc.

Employment by Occupation Data series

Employment, 2011

Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers


Petroleum engineers


Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers


Roustabouts, oil and gas


Wellhead pumpers


(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics) Veterans Opp Network Ad_Layout 1 11/13/2012 9:50 PM Page 1

Financing Small Business Growth

412.201.2450 •

14 | Veterans Opportunity


Employment & Human Resources

A Revolution in New Job Creation

in manufacturing, wholesale trade and education, among others.

A new HIS study America’s New Energy Future indicates that the revolution in unconventional oil and gas production is having a significant impact on job creation, economic growth and government revenues. Some highlights:

Subsequent reports will focus on the economic impacts on a state-by-state level and the potential for a U.S. manufacturing renaissance fueled by abundant energy supply.

• Employment in the entire upstream unconventional oil and gas sector on a direct, indirect, and induced basis will Annual SPE Salary Survey support nearly 1.8 million jobs in 2012, Shows Continued Growth 2.5 million jobs in 2015, 3 million jobs Trend in 2020, and nearly 3.5 million jobs in Compensation in the petroleum industry 2035. in 2011 continues to follow the growth • The jobs created tend to be high trend of recent years, with an overall quality and high paying. Workers increase in average base pay globally of associated with unconventional oil 6.5%, which is slightly higher than the and gas are currently paid an average average self-reported increase of 5.9% of $35.15 per hour—higher than the among survey participants. Mean base pay wages in the general economy ($23.07 increased from USD 139,194 in 2010 to per hour) and more than wages paid USD 148,301 in 2011.

BLS Occupational Stats for Oil and Gas Workers Quick Facts: Oil and Gas Workers 2010 Median Pay

$37,640 per year $18.09. per hour

Entry-level Education

Less than high school

Work Experience in a Related Occupation


Number of Jobs, 2010


Job Outlook, 2010-20


Employment Change, 2010-20


Wages, 2011

Employment by Occupation



Data series





Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers





Petroleum engineers





Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers





Roustabouts, oil and gas





Wellhead pumpers





(Source: Occupational Employment Statistics)

Earnings and Hours of Production and Nonsupervisory Employees Data series

Back data

Average hourly earnings

Average weekly hours

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012




(P) $28.58




(P) 46.9

*(P) Preliminary (Source: Current Employment Statistics)

Human Resources Employment & Human Resources

Veterans Opportunity | 15


Oil and gas companies in the Northeast need entry level workers, and are actively seeking veterans to fill jobs in a quickly expanding industry. by Deborah R. Huso


he Marcellus Shale is a sedimentary rock formation 6,000 to 9,000 ft. below the earth’s surface covering an area of about 95,000 square miles in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, and a small portion of Maryland. It is the second largest known quantity of natural gas outside Saudi Arabia. Scientists estimate this shale deposit could hold as much as 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough gas to power the entire country for 25 years. Combine that with the fact that the Marcellus Shale is located in close proximity to the heavily populated northeastern corridor of the U.S., where energy demand is high, and it’s not small surprise that drilling is booming in the region. “This industry,” says Byron Kohut, Director, ShaleNET Western Region, “is going to explode.”

crack the rock and allow the reserves to What’s Required of an Entry release. Level Employee in O & G? According to estimates from the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, 90 percent of oil and gas sites in the U.S. use fracking to improve production. And when you consider that a single well site requires 400 people working at nearly 150 different occupations, the opportunities for careers in the O & G industry are enormous. The Pennsylvania Statewide Marcellus Shale Workforce Needs Assessment projects the industry will create 25,000 to 30,000 new jobs through 2014. ShaleNET is Looking for Veterans

Kohut says the O & G industry is actively looking for entry level workers right now, and they don’t require prospective employees to have industry experience. “The expertise comes from the company,” Kohut says. “They hire entry level folks and train them.” That being said, veterans are, in Kohut’s opinion, “ideal candidates” for O & G jobs. All those skills that helped you persevere in demanding conditions while serving your country transfer well into getting a job in this industry. Here’s why:

To help fill all of these new jobs, the U.S. • Oil and gas workers generally have Department of Labor created ShaleNET, to work long hours, sometimes 12a $4.96 million grant designed to help hour shifts with schedules like two prospective employees obtain the training weeks on and one week off. While the Most of the drilling involves hydraulic and resources necessary to acquire and average civilian worker doesn’t find this fracturing (also known as “fracking”), retain jobs in the expanding O & G appealing, military personnel are used to a process which first came to the U.S. industry. ShaleNET is focused primarily tougher work schedules. in 1947, introduced by British energy on the Marcellus and Utica shale regions production company Halliburton. With of the northeast. • As in the military where work runs the introduction of horizontal drilling, 24/7, the same is true in drilling its use has expanded exponentially. Oil ShaleNET is actively recruiting veterans, operations, which run 24 hours a day, and gas companies use fracking where and 10 percent of its classes at participating seven days a week year-round. rock formations are fairly impermeable community and technical colleges are and, thus, very slow to release oil and/or made up of former members of the U.S. • O & G industry jobs generally require hard work in the outdoors. Former gas. To increase the speed of extraction, military. Many educational sites offer military personnel are accustomed to drillers pump fluid into the ground, made classes exclusively for veterans, and the working in tougher conditions and bad up mostly of water but also with sand DOL is pushing for vet recruitment weather. and chemical additives, under pressure to through ShaleNET.

Where the Jobs Are

Where the Programs Are • • • • • •

Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, Penn. Pierpoint Community Technical College, Fairmont, W.V. West Virginia Northern Community College, New Martinsville, W.V. Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, Penn. Eastern Gateway Community College, Steubenville, Ohio Broome Community College, Binghamton, N.Y.

For a complete list of ShaleNET approved training programs, visit

For more information on available jobs in the O & G industry and training and placement assistance, check out these resources: • • • •

Careers & Education

16 | Veterans Opportunity

Careers and Education

• O & G is a mobile industry, and workers often have to travel away from home, a reality veterans understand.

How To Get the Knowledge You Need Fortunately, nearly 50 percent of jobs in the O & G industry do not require a fouryear degree, and 20 percent fall under the general labor category. That’s good news for vets, only 10 percent of whom have advanced degrees. Partnering with ShaleNET, many area colleges offer 120hour training programs that will qualify

workers for entry level positions in the drilling industry. Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood, Penn., for example, offers a Natural Gas and Oil Technology curriculum with 19 credits (that can be used toward an associate’s degree) that will qualify students who complete it for jobs like electric installer, measurement and regulation technician, field safety representative, and crew member for drilling operations.

Where the Programs Are The above colleges currently offer training programs for certification in the following high-demand O & G industry jobs: • • • • •

To get into these training programs, applicants must have a valid driver’s license, undergo a five-panel drug screening, and score 70 percent or higher on a math placement test.

Careers & Education Careers and Education

Floor hand Roustabout Welder’s helper CDL driver Production technician

Veterans Opportunity | 17

Career Guide to Regional Oil and Gas Training Programs Introducing ShaleNET: Dr. Kohut: Well, I am Dr. Byron Kohut. I am the Western Hub Director for Marcellus ShaleNET at Westmoreland County Community College. And, I oversee the implementation of the Marcellus ShaleNET grant.

Entry Level Occupation Training

Dr. Byron Kohut interview

Stan Richardson: And, what is ShaleNET?

Dr. Kohut: ShaleNET is a 4.96 million dollar United States Department of Labor Education and Training Administration community based job training grant, aimed at providing job placement assistance, job awareness, career exploration and training for individuals interested in entry level positions in the natural gas industry. Stan Richardson: And how does the ShaleNET program, how is it being used to assist workers and then Veterans?

Dr. Kohut: Well, ShaleNET provides an industry overview into natural gas, specifically, Marcellus in Pennsylvania, but also Utica. Any jobs that you can find in natural gas, ShaleNET provides the access to that information. Provide an industry overview, realistic job previews of several different field operation positions in natural gas. People access our ShaleNET site. They learn about, it’s about a two hour education on-line, they register, they go through the industry overview, the realistic job previews; and then they either explore jobs through our partner sites, the Pennsylvania workforce development system, the Ohio workforce development system, Western Virginia and New York. So, each state has a workforce system that they can register for services and jobs, and training. For the veterans we provide cohort classes, so we will put together ShaleNET class just for veterans. In the past we’ve worked with the National Guard mostly. The Army Reserve has now learned about our program. I attend workshops; I serve on an advisory board for recruiting for the Army Reserve. And, everyone of our classes we require at least 10% of our students to be veterans, and for the most part we average between 4 and 7 veterans for our classes. Stan Richardson: Why such an emphasis on veterans?

Dr. Kohut: Well it answers the question of how do we support the veterans, the Department of Labor encourages all grant participants to work with veterans, work with the veterans leadership program, the V.A., and we know through our experience with the industry that the veteran is an ideal candidate for employment in natural gas.

Dr. Kohut: The veteran is an ideal candidate for employment in natural gas; work hard, long hours, leadership, follow, safety regulation - they’re gone away from home for some time. So they have the experience and the work ethic that the industry is really looking for, and so far we’ve been very successful with our veteran graduates. But, also with the veterans who just come for career awareness and exploration, and finding them jobs has been pretty easy to say the least.

going on deployment; it might have been his fourth deployment in twenty years. Well, we knew that taking him into class, but we also know that the industry looks favorably upon people who do have the deployments. They work with them closely. We match them up with Halliburton, which is a global company. Halliburton hired him immediately. I believe he is working as a mechanic for them, and I’m not sure exactly what job it is, but Major Lavelli talked about the fact that he did go on deployment about 8 or 9 months after he took the job. Halliburton is fully aware of that and they’re waiting for him to return. So, they hired him knowing that he was going on deployment.

Stan Richardson: How do H.R. people respond to being introduced to a veteran who’s gone through your program? What’s their reaction? Or at least what are some of the results in the way that Stan Richardson: Do you see a need they’ve responded? for companies that are operated within Dr. Kohut: Well, they want to know the oil and gas space to learn from the what’s their military occupation is first experiences of other companies in dealing of all, and their immediately thinking with veterans like Halliburtons, is there how they can match that up. If there is any such thing as best practices? a truck driver in the military, then they know that there can be a CDL there. H.R. Dr. Kohut: I believe Chesapeake has responds great to our veteran, our veteran actually one of the better programs for candidates. Just last week we had a major hiring veterans, is it Chesapeake or, but event downtown Pittsburgh where we they’ve created an intake process and were invited to speak about ShaleNET hiring mechanism for veterans, other than it was with the Allegheny Conference. that I am not really sure. And I invited Major Guy Lavelli, he Stan Richardson: But, I guess my is a Major for the National Guard. He question is, is there something to be himself has participated in the program, learned from Halliburton’s experience? Is not as a candidate, but he came through there something that Halliburton can or the class with us. Soldiers, he helped me would share with in a forum, let’s say, with place soldiers into the program. And, he others participants and companies that spoke about a gentleman who got a job, kind of presents what they’ve done and right out of the class, and this gentleman succeeded with? went to our class. A four week roustabout program here in Youngwood, and he had Dr. Kohut: O yeah, they’ve presented at a mechanics background. He also was our quarterly hub meetings, both at Penn

Careers & Education

18 | Veterans Opportunity

Careers and Education

College and Technology and here, and their H.R. and recruiting specialist would present to our audience. You know, how they work with veterans, how they work with the hiring process, and those panels, they do learn from each other. But, I do find that those companies they do know each other very well, they participate in almost every job fair, across the region so, Stan Richardson: And, What about service providers, not service providers but veteran organizations, are they aware of what the industry might want from veterans? And, can the industry learn from a VLP for example?

Dr. Kohut: I think they’re both learning, my example is that I pretty much attend every veteran’s leadership program, job fair, returning soldiers, hiring soldiers, hiring our heroes event that I can. My partner David Pistner, at Penn College does the same. Everybody that works with ShaleNET has participated in the veterans program. Actually that’s how I started my work with the National Guard was at the yellow ribbons events. And, there was a big yellow ribbon event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. And, that’s where I met the Colonel Barrier, Colonel Gray Barrier, he over sees the Western Pennsylvania National Guard. And at the time Major North, which was one of his subordinates, we spent a couple of hours that day just talking about how we can get the soldiers involved. And, that’s how our cohort class grew and that’s how we’ve continued our relationship with them, finding jobs, putting students in the classes, so we attend every thing veterans we possibly can. Actually this is the first week that I have to., I am canceling on Thursday, because of a rig tour for the current students that we have today. But, there is veteran’s leadership program in Altoona on Thursday, and I might send my technician though so, there’s opportunity for her to be there.

Stan Richardson: What do you think a may go, that’s how they’re called. And, veteran needs to know to take advantage we have three training providers there to of the ShaleNET program? so, their task is to reach out to veterans groups and that would be the Stanley Dr. Kohut: You ought to know where Technical Institute, West Virginia the sight is, Talk with Northern Community College, and their leadership. You know many of the Pierpont Community Technical College. leadership in Pennsylvania, military Part of their duties as ShaleNET training leadership, know about the ShaleNET providers is to reach out to the veterans, program now. We continue to work with place veterans in the program, and help the state leadership. My boss and you find veterans jobs. So, we started with know our partners, they work at the state that and then any guidance you have. level, at the national level, with different… with veterans groups, active and retired Stan Richardson: When you look at veterans., just start looking outreach to veterans do you have a specific for natural gas jobs, I think most of the criteria, for example if someone is a senior, veterans groups that I’ve met are now a young person - I read where in North realizing that those jobs are here. I guess Dakota they are hiring a lot of seniors we could look to Texas and Okalahoma citizens to work, as roustabouts and other and see what their experience with positions like that and I say seniors citizens veterans has been, because they’ve been 55 years old 50-55. And which makes me going at it for twenty years down there. ancient, so, but if these are people in a Troops2roughnecks, that’s the group, population group that is being recruited there’s a website troops2roughnecks, and in North Dakota is this also, something, I think that, that Chesapeake site. And when you look at a veteran is there like, that might be the group, where you know I know you can’t discriminate in terms of that’s a model for veterans leadership or -- age or anything like that or even sex, but is veteran’s jobs. ShaleNET spans anybody there certain criteria or certain occupation from all walks of life can enter ShaleNET types, where you…..? but, you know just our outreach to the Dr. Kohut: Well, I don’t hire anybody, veterans is how we get them involved and so, to get into the training program you they’re learning. have to pass some basic assessments; Stan Richardson: Now you mentioned drugs, background and a physical. So, a West Virginia how would you connect disability…, you know if you can’t walk to let’s say Lt. Colonel Milton Berger in working on a drilling rig might not work West Virginia and what they’re doing for you, (exactly) so, we have a CDL down there, how would that work with program, but our four other programs are ShaleNET? very general labor, and labor intensive. So, it’s difficult if you can’t pass the general Dr. Kohut: Actually, I’ve been doing most physical. (So, you actually, when you meet of my military contact through Colonel a veteran, you assess their condition, Barrier, with the National Guard, it’s their physical condition and then do the army National Guard, he’s been a they go through a physical before they champion of our program since we’ve met. get into the ShaleNET program?) Did And I’ve reached through him, especially you say veteran? Or anyone? (Veteran through the Pennsylvania area, but West or just anyone, anyone, any worker) Yes, Virginia we reach out to the workforce Yes, we do a pre-occupational medicine development system, the state workforce, physical. So can you lift 80 pounds, blood West Virginia workforce, I think they pressure, basic family history. We’ve kind of adopted the general pre-occupational testing, because we know when you get a job as a floor hand, they’re going to put you through a days worth of physical. That means squatting for twenty minutes, that means picking 80 pounds up continuously for an hour. We know that they do go through some rigorous physical testing. The veterans we have worked with, they have yearly physicals. They have, you know, you have some criteria you have to meet as a soldier, basically on the daily basis. And, when you work with the veterans we do reach out to the majors and the leadership, and when we ask them to put your hands…, put your feelers out

Careers & Education Careers and Education

Veterans Opportunity | 19

there and see if anybody wants to be a niche on that program, and we do rely upon them, they provide some physical background on them they, their work out schedule, their physical assessments, so we work closely with them when we’re putting students into the program. Stan Richardson: Do find that to be an advantage over having to do it yourself ?

starting to do produce, and education. State grants, workforce provides stipends basically for training. But, the curriculum is the most viable piece of this. There has not been a curriculum to address entrylevel natural gas work until now. Stan Richardson: What about Houston is there a school?

Dr. Kohut: We talk with Navarro Community College down there, they do associates degrees, so there’s a lot of, well, there’s not a lot of us I should say that again, but there is only a few associate’s degree programs for petroleum engineering or natural gas operations. What we’ve down here is we’re using ShaleNET to learn how to develop fast track. You know people don’t want to go to college. Stan Richardson: How do you account Fast track workforce programs get them for psychological issues? Cause, it is a into that , the curriculum has been built, pretty stressful situation, guys and par- that process is there, but Westmoreland ticularly talking military, people are away County Community College built an from home, post deployed troops might associates degree program. Based on want to have like a job as soon as possible, what we’ve learned from ShaleNET and because of family issues and things like another grant we received from the Trade that but maybe experiencing like pressures Adjustment and Assistance, the T-A-Aat home, how do you deal with that? C-C-C-T grant, TAACCT grant, we’ve Dr. Kohut: I guess as any other human developed 19 grant certificates that will being, you’re sitting in class with people stack on, all the way up to a bachelors. you tend to get to know them, you start Stan Richardson: Just tell me what your to realize what their strengths are and challenges in West Virginia in expanding what their weaknesses are and part of the program there. our class is to build that readiness and that awareness and to draw it out of them Dr. Kohut: Just getting it up and actually. Are they a team player, you know, running. We haven’t run a class in West are they aware of their surroundings, do Virginia yet but, our partners are good at they have the PTSD? I mean spending running programs. Pierpont Community forty days with an individual you do get Technical College has a gas program to know them, 30 to 40 days depending that they’ve been operating for a couple on our programs, and you know where a years now. We’ve done the training for person might be stronger, in what position the training providers. We’ve provided in the field. So, but you know in any class enough assistance that we think they need you do, we lose track of people here, some and we believe that they’ve scheduled people just disappear, phone numbers some classed to run. And, they’re working change or they get a job. So, I’d like to closely with their state workforce system think that by the end of the class…, we to register the students. The Mac system don’t have too many drop outs, you know, is the West Virginia workforce system. one or two and they’ve taken jobs, the And, so, we work closely with them. people who drop out are taking jobs. But, We’ve done some training. We do “go yeah, I’m no counselor, and but I am a to” meetings and training sessions for person. So, I do work with them closely. workforce professionals at the state level. The instructors are veteran instructors, so So they know what ShaleNET is, how they know also how to work with anybody it’s used. I’ve conducted onsite training who is having a concerning class. We in West Virginia. (How did that impact have a whole staff of folks that are in the the workforce in West Virginia? Having college, all colleges have…, anyone who is ShaleNET) We hope positively, (what do providing our training has a staff on duty they have in...) A good history of coal and that can handle any student related issues. energy, so they know what energy is about. (pause) And there are hard workers anywhere, we We always…, we’re going to pursue more just have to show them where the jobs grants. There is training grants from are and the companies that are working the Feds, Department of Labor, energy there. You know we visited some rig sites Dr. Kohut: O Yeah, Well, the one thing that the students are required to pay for when they get into our class, cause it’s free training, we ask that they provide for the physical, three assessments, the physical, the background check and the drug screen. So, when we work with the National Guard and the Army they provide the testing for us.

in West Virginia so we know they’re drilling away. (And bringing in a lot of people from outside the state; where the state wants local people working is that correct?) We all do right, but you know Pennsylvania has seen that for the last four years, the drillers your expert, so we’re not going to get drilling jobs right away. And, but any entry level jobs you just have to find your way in and its happening. So, In Pennsylvania it has occurred and its continuing to occur, all students in our class today will find jobs in that industry. Stan Richardson: Tell me about the, this phenomena or at least the agenda were states are trying to get and people in these communities, stakeholders are trying to get local people jobs.

Dr. Kohut: Well you know as we see in Pennsylvania the expertise comes with the rig, comes with the company, they hire entry level folks so that they can teach them, they can train them on their equipment, on their techniques. So, what we provide is that a ready person alright, we know when they get to a big company that does drilling, we know that they are going to be trained, they don’t want, energy doesn’t want us to train their people on how to drill the hole, they want us to teach them how to stay in a job, how to shop for time on a job, and then yes, slowly replace the Oklahomans and Texans and the people who are from outside of here. Those people want to go home. They want to work in the Gulf and Texas. But, if they don’t have three people within their company that can replace the senior three people, they can’t move on, so… (Does ShaleNET effectively build regional and local workforces?) Sure, like I said, its one month at a time. Every time one of our students is promoted within the industry that opens up another door for a local person and it also gives a senior Texan the opportunity to take a job back home or go back to Texas. So, that work, that career path is just beginning here. And those entry people are so important because nobody with the expertise can move on, so the experts are still working in the entry level positions because there is no one in those positions to take, to let them move on and that and that’s very important actually to this entire industry. Because most drilling rigs will only hire one new person at a time, you know safety and leadership comes into concern too, you can’t hire ten people because they won’t know what they’re doing on the rig, so you can only hire one or two new people at a time, that’s a time consuming process, right?. (So, are we done? (yeah) well I think we…..)

Careers & Education

20 | Veterans Opportunity

Careers and Education

The members of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association raise a rig to your leadership, service and dedication to the United States of America. Veterans are in high demand in our industry. Join us in the opportunity to secure our country’s energy future.

Northridge Plaza II 115 VIP Drive, Suite 210 Wexford, PA 15090-7906 (724) 933-7306

Pennsylvania: The Keystone to America’s Energy Future


Brian Thomas, the bank’s president and CEO

Frank Vitale, Vet-Turned-Banker

Profile: Connections Count “We are a virtual-based resource that connects military veterans and their families with employment, education and healthcare services,” says Vitale. “Additionally, we bring a great deal of attention to the needs of veterans as we advocate for them and their needs.” According to Vitale, the impetus for the website came from the military’s top brass. “Admiral Mike Mullen – the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – visited Morgantown during his 2010 ‘Town Hall’ tour,” he says. “The admiral challenged the community to develop a grassroots effort to support returning veterans and their families, particularly in the areas of education, employment and healthcare.” “Following the historical visit, my three partners -- Delbert Royce, a managing executive at Blaine Turner Advertising, Mark Carter, a vice president at hydraulic equipment manufacturer Swanson Industries, and Ken Busz, president of the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce -- visited the Pentagon at the invitation of the Joint Staff and began to develop the plan for what would become VetConnection.” In addition to dozens of education and healthcare connections, the website provides 180 links to employment resources, ranging from direct job offers to resumé-writing tips. Among the employment offers, the oil and gas industry is particularly well-represented. “Oil and gas needs aggressive, hardworking and, particularly, young people. It’s a great match for returning veterans,” says Vitale One reason is that younger veterans are highly motivated to seek employment opportunities after separation from the military. “The quicker they get into the workforce, the more successful they tend to be,” says Vitale. “With jobs, they’re much more likely to assimilate into civilian life and steer clear of alcohol and drug abuse. Jobs mean community. A job provides purpose and keeps vets from becoming too isolated and introspective.”

22 | Veterans Opportunity

Says Vet-Turned-Banker Frank Vitale

“Only 42% of eligible veterans use VA benefits,” claims Vitale. “When veterans separate, they want to be done with the military even though there are benefits to utilize.” Many veterans prefer the local community for jobs and support. “They want to really disconnect from the government,” says Vitale. That makes civilian organizations like Veterans Opportunity Network and so important. “Vets are more open to seeking our services,” explains Vitale. Response to the VetConnection website, in fact, has been quite positive, according to the bank executive. “Veterans and their families are very appreciative and value the support.” Still, the site’s greatest success might be its ability to ignite the community’s passion and purpose to help veterans integrate into civilian life. Summing up, Vitale says: “We’ve brought a sense of awareness, an urgency to ‘do something big’ and give back to those that have themselves given so much. Our Morgantown community, West Virginia University and our partners have all answered the call to make life better for military veterans and their families.”

FRANK VITALE Seven years ago, two century-old West Virginia financial institutions joined forces to become Clear Mountain Bank. The benefit of combined force strength is something Frank Vitale, Clear Mountain’s senior vice president, knows from his 17-year military career. Vitale, together with other Morgantown area business luminaries, recently established, a website serving West Virginia veterans.

Vets Helping Vets Vets Helping Vets


Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Mr. Curtis (Curt) L. Coy is the Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. In this role, Mr. Coy oversees all education benefits (GI Bill), loan guaranty service (VA loans), and vocational rehabilitation and employment services for America’s veterans. Mr. Coy was a career Naval Officer retiring in 1994 from the Navy as a Commander in the Supply Corps. Mr. Coy began his military career as an enlisted service member in the Air Force and a member of the 1975 graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy. Mr. Coy attended the Naval Postgraduate School where he attained his masters´ degrees in Acquisition/Contracting Management and Materiel Logistics Support, has served as an Adjunct Associate Professor for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Graduate School of Management and Technology and also been a guest lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School.



Brad Zigler brings his experience as the head of marketing, research and education for a derivatives exchange and an investment fund manager to the field of financial journalism. Brad’s feature articles have appeared in numerous financial publications over the past twenty years. In addition to his regular columns and articles, Brad’s also been named an editor and financial correspondent for the European Press Network and National Public Radio.

Retired Marine Veteran Dave Greenawalt with 20+ years of service as a mechanic, service manager, training instructor and recruiter, now a employment specialist with Cleveland Brothers Equipment company. “

“Our People Make the Difference”


of our broadcast, and bring together our print and digital network to best serve the economic interest of “new millennium When Veterans Opportunity Network Veterans. (VON) first launched as a radio show in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Marine Veteran, Deborah Cottrell is a Veteran of the U.S. Deborah Cottrell, was asked to join our Marine Corps; she served as a Primary broadcast team because of a unique video Marksmanship Instructor for the M-16 demo tape she submitted that revealed a and 9MM weapons. Her military career natural talent for communicating using included stations in Camp Pendleton, the visual media. What VON producers CA; Okinawa, Japan; Fort Lee, VA; recognized, immediately, was that there and Paris Island, SC. After her tour-ofwas also more to Ms. Cottrell’s visual duty, she served with the Pennsylvania presentation – there was actually a very National Guard in the Military Police. disciplined worker and journalist under Her motivation is helping Veterans the surface of her on camera presence. through the transition from active duty Now that the Veterans Opportunity to civilian life, job placement programs, Network has transitioned from radio with and by helping to our homeless Veterans. a new regionally distributed television Through her volunteer work with local show, “Veterans Opportunity Magazine – and National veterans organizations. TV, Veteran Deborah Cottrell is an integral Moreover, her commitment to educating part of this successful move to broadcast the public on Veteran Awareness includes television programming. According to being a supporter and advocate of the VA Executive Producer, Stanley J. Richardson, healthcare system. Needless to say we are “Deborah represents the changing face of excited to have Marine Veteran, Deborah the Military Veteran population and often Cottrell as a Veterans Opportunity offers a fresh perspective on the content Network and Magazine correspondent. Marine Veteran

Vets Helping Vets Vets Helping Vets

Cleveland Brothers has known that for it to be successful, its customers must succeed.

to be continued on page 33 Veterans Opportunity | 23

An Interview with

“the Person Who Regularly Supports Frank Vitale”: Clear Mountain Bank President and CEO, Brian Thomas


eterans Opportunity Magazine begins its tour of regions of the country where the development and commercialization of unconventional Oil and Gas sources is a major factor in regional economic development, which include opportunities for the region’s Veteran population to take advantage of career, employment and business opportunities. Leading the way in encouraging Veterans to pursue economic opportunities are Veterans like Frank Vitale, Senior Vice President of Clear Mountain Bank, a North Central West Virginia regional community bank. The bank has its headquarter in Morgantown West Virginia, which is very near South Western Pennsylvania, a major geographic location where Natural Gas reserves are being extracted. More importantly, what has drawn us to Frank Vitale is his commitment to engage the private and public sector in delivering economic improvement opportunities for Veterans who live within the communities served by Clear Mountain Bank. So when Veteran Opportunity Magazine was invited to attend an annual “Hire a Hero” event in Morgantown West Virginia, it was no surprise that Frank Vitale was viewed as the key promoter and person spearheading the event What really impressed us and gave us insight into why Frank has been successful in mobilizing the Public and Private sector to be supportive of the regions Veterans is that he understands the value of “community” – a word that that he uses within the context of all that he is committed to and supports with his time and energy on behalf of Veterans. Everyone needs a partner and an ally - which is akin to mentoring – a key factor in Veterans successfully navigating upward mobility, even a successful private banking executive like Frank Vitale. In our coverage of the event it was clear that Frank is not alone in his efforts on behalf of the region’s Veteran community. Clear Mountain Bank President and CEO, Brian Thomas, is a reliable ally in Frank’s outreach and community service activities. His opening statement at the “Hire a Hero” event held in Morgantown in November 2012, says it all:

24 | Veterans Opportunity

“We all have someone to answer to. We all have someone, more importantly, that we need their support in order to do what we do. And the person that I need support from, and he lends it regularly, and that’s our President of Clear Mountain Bank - our President, and CEO - and I’m also proud to call him our leaderand that’s Brian Thomas. Thank you. Thank you, Brian.” Soon afterward, Frank made a point of introducing me to his mentor and underscored his earlier comments, “… we wouldn’t be able to do these sort of events.” And then typically of Frank’s ability to connect people with shared interests (after all he is a founding member of the regionally focused website, Brian and I (Veterans Opportunity Magazine) were encouraged to explore the significance of the Bank’s role in being supportive of Veterans gaining the information and access that they need to derive benefit from public / private partnerships. What follows is an edited transcript of my interview with Clear Mountain Bank President and CEO, Brian Thomas: Thomas: I think Frank is the person who deserves the credit for really creating awareness for our bank. Frank served in the military and is very involved and really passionate about helping veterans. After he talked to me, we thought, that as a bank this is a perfect opportunity - it’s exactly who we are. We are a community-bank and we have a lot of veterans in the community that we can support - we can help. They’ve done a lot to help us, not only by fighting and serving our nation, but they’re also our customers. So, we need to give back too - and that’s essentially how we got involved, is through Frank - but it really made a lot of sense for our company. Richardson: Where’s the opportunity in this market right now? Thomas: Well, I think that one of the opportunities is the Marcellus Shale. Of course, as we’re talking right now, the price for natural gas has fallen substantially. So I think there’s a reduced amount of drilling activity. But America needs energy. The prices will probably go back up. As drilling starts, there are a lot of different things that drilling companies need - They need people who can operate heavy equipment to excavate sites, build

Vets Helping Vets Vets Helping Vets

roads. So there’s room for people who are excavators. Maybe they have an excavating company. There’s room for people who own trucks or maybe a small trucking company because they have to haul gravel - stone to help build those roads. A lot of farms are involved locally, so a small company that builds fences - to fence in sites - there’s opportunity there. I know one local company, the gentleman is a diesel mechanic, and he started just himself - going out and servicing diesel engines on these sites. Generators - they have a lot of diesel equipment. He’s now grown his business into one that employs about fifteen people doing that. So, if someone had experience, in say the Army, or the Navy, or one of the many armed services working on diesel engines, or mechanics, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for them to start their own business - to be of some service. Technology is also a big area. Not only in Morgantown - because you have the university - but as you go down to Fairmont (WV), you have the high tech consortium. So if someone had skills in software programing or hardware - lots of opportunities there. I think there’re many opportunities in government contracting, especially locally. There’s a lot of government agencies here. We have the National Energy Technology Lab, we have FBI centers in Bridgeport, NASA. There are a lot of Federal agencies here that need small businesses to provide certain services. Anywhere from just simple cleaning, to planning events, to servicing hardware. Maybe it’s computers, things like that. We have a couple of businesses locally where people have done just what we’re talking about. They’ve started small, got a government contract, and then grew their business from there. Being a veteran would afford them some additional opportunities in that contracting field. Again, I think that government contracting could provide opportunities because veterans have skills they can develop, put them to work, and then start a business and get out in the market and seek contracts. And there are many organizations locally, maybe not a lot, but there’s some accessible small business development organizations locally that will help people learn how to get involved with government contracting how to navigate all the different things they have to do in order to get from start to obtaining an actual contract. I’m sure there are people locally who would help mentor those folks as well. Richardson: Oh, I’m sure of it. Like Frank and Clear Mountain Bank. Richardson: So what’s your outlook on the small business opportunities for veterans? Thomas: Locally, here in the Morgantown area, I think there are a lot of opportunities for veterans. This is a growing area. It’s probably one of the fastest growing areas in West Virginia. Small businesses are what we focus on because we are a communitybank. We’re also one of the smaller banks, so the kind-of businesses that we help are the small businesses, the one person, two employee, and fifty employee type enterprises. So small businesses are really the drivers of job creation. They drive job growth. So if we can help a veteran start a new business or grow a business area, we think that’s a win-win for each job - helps a veteran and so many spinoffs come from that too.

Richardson: Absolutely. Thomas: So if they create one job, it probably creates three or four other jobs in the community as spinoffs. So we really like having that opportunity to work with veterans and all kinds of business owners to try to grow their business. Richardson: Do you have partnerships with the SBA, smaller funding corps that you mentor, that you do business with? Thomas: Yeah, we have a lot of partners that we work with. We work with the Small Business Administration. We work with the USDA. The USDA has several initiatives for rural small business people that veterans can obviously take advantage of. We work with people that are partners of the SBA, capital corporations - those organizations that help inject some capital into a small business that may not have enough cash of their own to get to where they need to be. There’s just a whole plethora of places that people can get help, veterans can get help financing their business. I think the important step is just for them to take the first step and come talk to us - or really most banks in town are all familiar with the programs, but veterans just need to come talk to us. I mean we don’t require a fancy business plan, they just need to have an idea, come talk to us and we can help point them in the right direction. The university locally has a small business development center that will sit down with someone and help them take an idea, put it on paper, create a plan, teach them how to go to a bank, and where to raise capital. West Virginia has a development office that will help small business, veterans… Richardson: With small business development? Thomas: Absolutely. So there are dozens of organizations that will help, but one of the problems that I think I see is there are so many that may not work with each other. Veterans need to have somebody they can go to, who say, “Here are the programs that are available to you” so that they can pick and choose or maybe combine them. So I think we need to do a better job as a banking industry maybe, or economic development groups, getting all that information in one place so we can hand it somebody and say, “Here’s all your options.” For example, Frank and the bank, or other people we know that have been successful in getting a government contract. We would love to help put someone trying to do that together with one of our customers who’s doing it successfully and say, “Here, can you guys talk? Teach the person trying to get into it, what to do.”

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For Older Vets’ Job Training Assistance

Brad Zigler, a contributing writer / editor to the Veterans Opportunity Magazine is a Vietnam, Air Force Disabled Veteran


here’s no doubt that young veterans need education assistance and job training after separation. The unemployment statistics alone make a compelling case. The average unemployment rate reported in 2011 for vets aged 18-34 was 14.5%, fully 2.6% higher than the rate for non-vets of the same age. While the unemployment rate for older veterans is notably lower, it still runs ahead of that for those who haven’t served in the miltary. Many vets in the 35-60 age bracket, in fact, have been stymied by today’s changing career market. Luckily, the nation hasn’t lost sight of the older vets’ plight. In November 2011, President Obama signed the Vow to Hire Heroes Act which provides, among other things, resources specifically targeted to older vets. The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), for example, grants up to 12 months of training benefits for unemployed veterans to transition into more than 200 high-demand career fields, including: • Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers • Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators and Gaugers • Welders, Cutters, Solderers and Brazers Training is available for up to 99,000 vets aged 35-60 who are not otherwise eligible for VA education benefits. Under VRAP, participants receive education assistance equal to the current full-time Montgomery GI Bill - Active Duty rate of $1,564 per month. VRAP is well on its way to fulfilling its mission. Since May 2012, nearly 83,000 veterans have applied to participate in

26 | Veterans Opportunity

the program and more than 68,000 have been approved for training. “The surge of veterans applying for VRAP demonstrates the critical need for this program in providing unemployed veterans the opportunity to find employment in high-demand fields,” says Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki. VRAP goes a step beyond education and training to provide program graduates personalized career assistance. Veterans completing their education or training program are eligible to leverage specially designed Department of Labor programs. VA Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Curtis Coy explained that VRAP’s reaches out to a segment of the veteran population that may not have regular interaction with VA and consequently may not know about potential benefits and opportunities. “Anyone who knows an unemployed veteran can help us get unemployed veterans the job retraining they need through VRAP,” says Coy. “We’re counting on the continued help of Veterans Service Organizations and the Department of Labor, as well as the American public, to reach as many eligible veterans as possible.” Potential applicants can learn more about VRAP and apply online at or call VA tollfree at 1-888-GI-BILL-1. Information about the Department of Labor’s programs for veterans is available at vets. Veterans can also visit the nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the nation, listed at VRAP, however, is time-limited and will terminate by March 2014, so interested veterans should submit applications as soon as possible.

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Building Careers for Our Older Veterans Courtesy of the White House Blog

Posted by Rosye Cloud on November 16, 2012 at 06:41 PM EST


hile much focus has been devoted to education and training for our younger Veterans, we have not lost sight that we have another group who has served our Nation with distinction. Many of this group may already have some education and training, they need additional assistance to prepare them for a changing career market. In November 2011, the President signed into law the Vow to Hire Heroes Act. This Act does many things to prepare Veterans for careers after military service, including one provision that specifically targets older veterans. The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, better known as VRAP, is designed to give up to 12 months of benefits for unemployed Veterans to jump-start into a new, high-demand career field. This provision specifically applies to unemployed Veterans who are between 35 and 60, and not eligible for any other education benefit. The law limits the benefit to 99,000 Veterans. Since May, 2012, over 75,000 Veterans have applied and over 62,000 have already been approved to participate in the program. VRAP doesn’t end with the provision of education; it goes one step further by assisting Veterans find a career. When a Veteran completes the education or training program, they are then eligible to leverage the Department of Labor programs designed for Veterans.


Help get the word out - make it a point to tell someone who may know an unemployed Veteran now, as the program will end by March 2014. For information on the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program, visit: or call 1-888-GI-BILL-1. Rosye Cloud is the Director of Policy for Veterans, Wounded Warriors and Military Families.

Veterans Helping Veterans: Mr. Curtis Coy


r. Curtis (Curt) L. Coy is the Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs. In this role, Mr. Coy oversees all education benefits (GI Bill), loan guaranty service (VA loans), and vocational rehabilitation and employment services for America’s veterans. Mr. Coy was a career Naval Officer retiring in 1994 from the Navy as a Commander in the Supply Corps. Mr. Coy began his military career as an enlisted service member in the Air Force and a member of the 1975 graduating class at the U.S. Naval Academy. Mr. Coy attended the Naval Postgraduate School where he attained his masters´ degrees in Acquisition/ Contracting Management and Materiel Logistics Support, has served as an Adjunct Associate Professor for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Graduate School of Management and Technology and also been a guest lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School.

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Veterans Opportunity | 27


Organizations & Associations Business Enterprises

Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA)

Veteran Owned Government

Select Energy Services

about each other. We are fast paced, innovative and strive to provide exceptional customer service—24/7.”

For more information contact: Select Energy Services 1820 N I-35 Gainesville, TX 76240 In 2007 Select Energy Phone: 940.668.1818 began operations in Gaines- ville, Texas. Today, Select Energy Services is headquartered in Houston, Texas, and has grown to become a company with over $1 billion in revenues and more NOVA Safety and Health than 5,000 employees. we have done Consulting, Inc. just that. It’s simple to us. According to the company, “Every day is an opportunity for us to work hard, prove our experience, put safety first and maintain 100% client focus. After all, we believe that is the only way to operate successfully in the oil and gas inOil & Gas Independent Service Provider dustry.” Select Energy provides services to more than 400 customers in every major shale play throughout the United States and Canada. The company reports that it”… delivers innovative and efficient endto-end water solutions and well site services to oilfield operators through two primary divisions WaterOne™ and WellOne™.” Select Energy Services, takes pride in declaring that its most valuable assets are the more than 5,000 hard working employees -- that they refer to as their team. The company recruits high caliber talent and challenges team members to continue to grow in parallel with the organization. According to Select Energy Services, theirs is “…a culture where people care about the communities where we work and care

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For More Information Contact: Debbie Chiz 1192 Townline Road North East, PA 16428 814.882.4822 (P) 814.725.5556

Kinetic Clean Energy, LLC.

Regional Oil and Gas Industry Advocate The Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association of Pennsylvania (PIOGA) is the principal nonprofit trade association representing Pennsylvania’s independent oil and natural gas producers, marketers, service companies and related businesses. PIOGA member companies drill and operate the majority of the state’s crude oil and natural gas, including the Marcellus Shale. PIOGA represents over 950 members, including oil and natural gas producers, drilling contractors, service companies, manufacturers, distributors, professional firms and consultants, royalty owners, and other individuals with an interest in Pennsylvania’s oil and gas industry. For more information: PIOGA 115 VIP Drive, Suite 210, Northridge Office Plaza II Wexford, PA 15090-7906 P: (724) 933-7306 F: (724) 933-7310

Independent Oil and Gas Association West Virginia (IOGAWV) Regional Oil and Gas Industry Advocate IOGA of West Virginia, Inc.

Oil and Gas Market Maker 714 Venture Drive, Suite 169 Morgantown, WV 26508

300 Summers Street, Suite 820 Charleston, WV 25301 Voice: (304) 344-9867 Fax: (304) 344-5836 E-mail:

Asayo Creative, Inc.

Asayo Creative is a bold, innovative marketing and design agency located in Morgantown, West Virginia. Asayo was founded with one goal in mind — World Domination. Since conquering the planet is still a few years away, we have instead focused on assembling a group of the area’s most talented individuals in marketing and design. Combining experience, motivation, passion for design and an in-depth knowledge of web, print, mobile and audio/visual tradition and trends, Asayo Creative will help you develop A Style All Your Own. Media and Design Services 939 Canyon Road Morgantown, WV 26508 Office: 304.413.0100 Fax: 866.882.4315

and state. Founded in 1920, the Chamber has been active in the progression of Morgantown and serves as the voice of business to local, state and federal government agencies.

Byron Kohut, Ed.D. Director, ShaleNET Western Region Westmoreland County Community College Youngwood, PA 15697-1898 724-696-4593

Dedicated to the Business, Community and Vision of the Morgantown area, the Chamber offers a wealth of services and knowledge benefits to our members to help them succeed and prosper. Through networking opportunities in our Business After Hours and variety of other meetings and events, from educational seminars and member-to-member referrals, the Chamber gives you the resources and tools that you need to succeed. We are focused on the future of the Morgantown area and creating a business atmosphere that benefits the development, growth, and expansion of businesses in our area.

Western Hub Technician: Elaine Fisher Regions covered by county: Huntington, Fulton, Bedford, Somerset, Cambria, Blair, Fayette, Westmoreland, Indiana, Armstrong, Butler, Greene, Washington, Beaver, Lawrence, Mercer, Clarion, Venango, Crawford, Erie, Warren, Forest, Allegheny, and select counties in New York, Ohio, and West Virginia

For more information: Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce 1029 University Avenue, Suite 101 Morgantown, WV, 26505 Phone: 304.292.3311 Fax: 304.296.6619 E-Mail:

David Pistner Director, ShaleNET Eastern Region Pennsylvania College of Technology – DIF 29 One College Avenue Williamsport, PA 17701 570-327-4775 Eastern Hub Technician: Wanda Engel Regions covered by county: Mifflin, Centre, Clinton, Lycoming, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union, Snyder, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford, Tioga, Sullivan Cameron, Clearfield, Jefferson, Elk, McKean, and Potter


Morgantown Area Chamber of ShaleNET Commerce

Regional Business Community Development The Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce (MACOC) is a non-profit, member based organization with over 400 members throughout the region

GJK offers the best in figurative art painting with distinctive works that reflect American diverse culture and heritage. Within the pages of Veterans Opportunity Magazine, GJK Art showcases America ShaleNET is a 4.96 million dollar United at work – a special collection of paintings States Department of Labor Education depicting US Veterans pursuing their opand Training Administration community portunities. based job training grant, aimed at providFor more information: ing job placement assistance, job awareness, Log on to Facebook career exploration and training for individuals interested in entry level positions in the natural gas industry.

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American Oil & Gas Reporter (AOGR)

For Veteran Entrepreneurs seeking to start run or grow a business within the Oil and Gas sector, the American Oil & Gas Reporter (AOGR) is a must read. AOGR dedicated oil and gas publication devoted to the exploration, drilling, and production. The magazine is also an independent industrial trade publication that serves as the Official Publication for 28 associations of independent oil and gas producers and operators. Each AOGR issue provides valuable insight into the business of oil and gas, with news from association executives and committees, views from Wall Street analysts, and field success stories from industry peers keeping readers in the know. From chief executives to operations managers and field technicians, AOGR delivers the business, financial and technical information readers need to succeed. The American Oil & Gas Reporter P.O. Box 343 Derby, Kansas 67037-0343 Phone: 316-788-6271 Fax: 316-788-7568 Toll Free: 800-847-8301

Clear Mountain Bank

Cleveland Brothers Equipment: Heavy Equipment

September 2012: Clear Mountain Bank, Bruceton Mills, West Virginia is rated as a Superior 5-Star bank according to BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., the nation’s leading bank rating and research firm. This rating indicates that Clear Mountain Bank is one of the strongest banks in the nation. A recent press release indicates that Clear Mountain Bank has earned this highest rating for the latest 36 consecutive quarters. Moreover, to accomplish this feat, Clear Mountain Bank excels in areas of capital, asset quality, profitability and much more. As noted by, Karen L. Dorway, president of the rating firm, “Consumers and businesses alike have come to depend on Bauer’s 5-Star rating system as they navigate through their banking choices,” comments “They know to look for the 5-Star logo to ensure that the trust they have in their bank is well-placed. Under the leadership of Mr. Brian Thomas, president and CEO, the dedicated team at Clear Mountain Bank has earned that trust and respect.”

In 1988, Jay Cleveland Jr. joined the company and is currently president/chief executive officer. Tom Kirchhoff joined the company in 1994 and is currently the executive vice president and chief operating officer of the company. As Jay and Bill’s sons take the same path, Cleveland Brothers remains a family oriented business. Meeting the needs of its customers has always been Cleveland Brothers’ focal point.

On October 10, 2005 Cleveland Brothers Clear Mountain Bank is a locally-owned acquired Beckwith Machinery Company. and managed community bank serving In addition Cleveland Brothers also acMonongalia, Preston and Garrett counties. quired One Call Rentals, a network of Cat Rental Stores in Western Pennsylvania and BAUERFINANCIAL, Inc., Coral Gables, Northern West Virginia. One Call Rentals Florida, the nation’s leading independent handles Caterpillar compact construction bank and credit union rating and research equipment and allied equipment such as firm, has been reporting on and analyz- air compressors and aerial lifts. ing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. No institution The transition allowed the Cleveland pays BauerFinancial to rate it, nor can any Brothers family of companies to serve choose to be excluded. Consumers may 59 Pennsylvania counties in an area that obtain free star-ratings by visiting www. stretches from the Northeast corner of the state throughout all of Central and ern Pennsylvania. Included in this new territory are 17 counties in Northern West PO Box 205 Virginia and 2 in Western Maryland. Bruceton Mills, WV 26525 Phone: 304-379-2265 Email:

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On Jan. 1 1948, Cleveland Brothers was formed. In 1965, Roy stayed at Cleveland Brothers while Bob moved to New York to pursue other dealer opportunities. Bob and Roy’s father, C.W. “Dad” Cleveland, was hired as the purchasing agent for the company. Roy’s son, Jay, began working at his father’s company in 1961. In 1963, Bill Kirchhoff married Jean Cleveland, Roy’s Daughter.

Every action the company takes, every decision it makes, is evaluated in terms of the

impact on its customers and how they will profit. From the very beginning, Cleveland Brothers has known that for it to be successful, its customers must succeed. This philosophy has guided the company for over fifty years and placing the customer first will continue to be our focus. “Our People Make the Difference” For Employment Contact: Dave Greenawalt, Recruiter 4565 William Penn Hwy, Murrysville, PA 15668 (866) 551-4602

Launched by the Morgantown, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, President Ken Busz explained in a recent interview with Veterans Opportunity Magazine, that the web based nonprofit began with a visit of then Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff almost 3 years ago, to Morgantown. “He wanted to see how returning veterans were being integrated back into the community in regards to education, healthcare, and employment.” Before the former Chairman left town, a core group of Chamber members answered the Admiral’s call to action and four key members lead the way. Serving as the organization’s founders, alongside Chamber President, Mr. Busz - Frank Vitale, a Gulf War era veteran and Senior Vice President with Clear Mountain Bank, Mark Carter, Chamber Board Member, and Vice President of Business Development for Swanson Industries and Delbert Royce, VicePresident of and Partner in Blaine Turner Advertising teamed to help vet-

erans make it easier on veterans to find the services and programs that are available to them. Consequently, Vet Connection came out of that. According Chamber President, Ken Busz, “It has as its root a website that has many of the programs we can locate that veterans and families can take advantage of to help them...if nothing else - it has raised the conscious level of people in this community to the plight of veterans that they (may not) realize just what a veteran’s up against we they come back from active service and that’s what Vet Connections is designed to do. Help them get the help and opportunities available to them that they might not know about otherwise.”

Veterans Opportunity | 31


Are you a 35 to 60 year-old unemployed Veteran looking for a new career? Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) Provides eligible Veterans with education EHQHÀWVIRUXSWRPRQWKVRIWUDLQLQJ Now accepting applications For more information visit

ZZZEHQHÀWVYDJRY92: "Helping Veterans Attain Personal and Economic Success"

Vets Helping Vets

Publisher MAJOR RICHARD “BRETT” SIMPSON Former Army Major Richard “Brett ” Simpson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Systems Engineering. During his 12 years of active Military Service, that included a successful Command overseas, Mr. Simpson was hand selected to serve as a Board Recorder for the Department of the Army Secretariat for Officer Promotions, Schooling, Command Selections Lists, and Special Selection Boards in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Simpson was then assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit in Alexandria where he finished his Honorable Service and career as a U.S. Army Major. As a resident of Morgantown, West Virginia, Brett has used his vast experience in working with transitioning soldiers at all levels. He also built a career around providing this expertise to military affiliated and civilian care providers that serve the interest of Veterans, transitioning military personnel, their families and their community stakeholders. Brett Simpson has proven to be a valuable asset to his community. His “down‐to‐earth” mindedness, creative thinking and positive attitude have served him well as a civilian. Moreover, his professional military career as well as his working knowledge of all aspects of the transitioning soldiers’ experience from a regimented Military system to civilian life, have made him a “go-to” person in the Morgantown area for “OUR HEROES” who are seeking economic improvement opportunities within a growing community of “Veteran Opportunity Providers.”

Johnson Media Tech, Inc. (SDVOB, Wounded Warrior Firm)

Executive Team

Melvin L. Johnson, President (U.S. Army Vet) Stanley J. Richardson, Executive / Managing Editor Joyce A. Johnson, Business Administration Naomi Moye, Business Development Consultant


George J. Kramer, Art Director/Associate Editor Tudor Maier, VOM Design/Layout Asayo Creative, VOM Logo & Ad Designs Photo credits Magazine Cover adapted from photo courtesy of Hart Energy Entrepreneur Roundtable Discussion Oil and Gas pipeline photo courtesy of Hart Energy


Sue Marquette Poremba, Deborah R. Huso, Lin Grensing-Pophal, Brad Ziegler, writer/contributing editor (U.S. Air Force Vet) Carol Hasegawa, Education/Career Content Advisor Deborah Cottrell, VON/VOM Correspondent (U.S. Marine Vet) C.Richard Gillcrese, Audio/Video Talisa Morton, Transcriber Nneka Martin, Transcriber Mable Morton, Transcriber

Advertising Sales

Veterans Opportunity Network, Media Sales

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Veterans Opportunity e-Magazine  
Veterans Opportunity e-Magazine